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About Us

Hello! My name is Marlene Peterson, founder of Libraries of Hope and finder of the Well-Educated Heart philosophy of learning and life. Read through the FAQs below to learn more about us and what we do here. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to us using the Contact Us form at the bottom of the page. Welcome and we look forward to going through this journey with you!

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  • What is the Rotation?
    The Rotation is a 12-month course of study that allows you to touch on subjects involving the whole world and everything in it! You come back to it year after year, always building upon what you learned, adding more and more layers and deepening your understanding. It is your servant, not your master. Like we said elsewhere, there are no "have tos" here. Use it to fit your needs.
  • Is this a religion-based program? Is it associated with any particular religion?
    We have striven to keep this program as open to as many people as want to participate. There is a strong emphasis on faith in the WEH pattern of learning, for we believe as Charlotte Mason said, education is "something between the child's soul and God." And many of the authors of the pre-1920s books we frequently reference and print come from a Christian background. But we welcome people of all beliefs and invite you to cater the program to fit your needs. There is Truth and Beauty found here than we can all benefit from. Marlene, the founder of Libraries of Hope and "finder" of the Well-Educated Heart, is open about her beliefs, but will explicitly mention when things she is discussing are more "doctrine" based, which she does only occasionally.
  • What is Well-Educated Heart/WEH?
    The Well-Educated Heart is a pattern of learning focused on educating the heart. We believe, as Aristotle taught, that "educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." We offer the Libraries of Hope as a resource to help facilitate educating hearts. We wish there was a quick and dirty way to explain all that it entails, but since for most people it's an entirely new way of looking at education and learning, the only way to understand it is to "catch the vision" for yourself. To help facilitate this, we have created a free introductory Catch the Vision course. And you don't have to go through it alone! We have a Mothers of Influence community ready to help you through every step of the way, and it's FREE to join.
  • What is Belle Ame at Home/BAAH?
    Belle Ame at Home is a community of families centered in artful living. This is a way for you to "see" what artful living looks like in action. BAAH serves as a familiar stepping stone and tool, especially for families who are new to WEH. There you'll find Inspiration Stations, stories told by wonderful storytellers, classes, clubs, and more. To learn more, please visit our Mighty Networks platform at Fees do apply, but we don't want to leave anyone out. Please contact us for scholarships and other help if the price is not doable right now. BAAH is also the fundraising arm of our non-profit, Belle Ame Center for Artful Living. All proceeds contribute to building and expanding the Weatherby MO Campus. To learn more, visit
  • Is this a curriculum?
    No, WEH is not a curriculum. Heart learning is a very individually-based process, so we can't tell you what to have your children read or when to read it. We don't believe in asking specific questions to direct their learning, as each individual will learn something different from every book and every activity, and the "answers" they receive will likely be different at various phases in their life. So we can't tell you exactly how to do this, or what it will look like for you, because it is different for everyone. What we do is offer you a plethora of wonderful resources--a grand buffet--to choose from, at your leisure. With the Well-Educated Heart, there is no "have to." You direct your own path!
  • Who is this for? Is this only for those who homeschool?
    This is for anyone who cares about learning how to educate hearts using the arts: stories, music, art, poetry, and nature. It doesn't matter if your children homeschool, go to public or private school, are out of school...or even if you have children at all! This is for anyone wanting to provide a balance to the mind aspect of education. First, start with filling your own heart. Then, help your children. Or your grandchildren. Or your nieces and nephews. You can dive in head first, or dip your toe in the waters...whatever makes the most sense for you and your family.
  • What is Libraries of Hope/LOH?
    Libraries of Hope is a library of resources (books, fine art, music, stories, etc.) meant to inspire the heart and instill hope. For a more complete explanation of how to use all the resources available in the site, watch the LOH Tour video in Section 5 of the Catch the Vision course.
  • Which books should I start with?
    Consider using the Forgotten Classics as your spine. These are wonderful, heart-warming stories we've collected and organized around the rotation. There are links to relevant books in each month of the Rotation, or you can find all the series in their entirety here. For an explanation of the series (and some of the reasoning behind them), you can watch the Forgotten Classics Family Library videos in Section 5 of Catch the Vision. To supplement this spine, the Libraries of Hope has compiled over 4,000 titles for you to choose from. We have partnered with Biblioguides, which gives you the resources and tools to discover the right book for the right person at the right moment. (For those of you more accustomed to our old site, these titles are still listed there, we just will no longer be updating them.) Many of these books can be read online for free, so peruse them and see what grabs you or your children! We also highly recommend using My Book House (we reference the 1971 edition) and Junior Classics (we reference the 1962 edition).
  • What resources are available?
    You'll find tons of resources in Catch the Vision and Mother's University to help you on your journey to learn about WEH and how to implement it. And in the Rotation, you'll find lots of resources for you and your children to start exploring the world and everything in it! This includes podcasts to help you sample books and pique interest; a link to Biblioguides, a wonderful resource to search thousands of additional books to read; free audios from Marlene at BelMonde; free fine art sorted by topics and nations that you can print out at Simple Joy: Fine Art; a link to the Mothers of Influence (MOI) site to help you gather your friends in this process; free history "courses" (My America Story Book and My World Story Book) with short stories to read or listen to every day, as well as pictures to use for notebooking; the Forgotten Classics Family Library, which holds all our books and compilations (available to view as free digital reads or purchase as hard copies); and a free app (Apple and Android) to easily navigate everything.
  • Where can I talk to others who incorporate this method of learning?
    The best place to connect with others going through their WEH journey is to join our FREE Mothers of Influence community. You can also find hands-on learning via Belle Ame at Home. We have a very active Facebook group with lots of people willing to offer advice and who are there learning right along with you. You can also join the "100 Days of WEH" group, where mothers offer day-to-day examples of what they're doing in their homes and with their families. If you'd like to ask Marlene in particular a question, you can use the "Contact Us" form down below.
  • Where do I start?
    The videos on the home page will give you a brief overview of what we're about, so they're a great place to start. Then you can jump into the introductory Catch the Vision course to learn about this new (to most of us) method of learning. Some have found the first few podcasts helpful as well (you can find a good portion of them linked in Month One of the Mother's University). As you go, you can also work your way through the Take 5s, which are brief audios (usually around five minutes long) giving samples and explanations of practical ways to implement the things you are learning. We also invite you to join our free Mothers of Influence community, where you can discuss your journey with other mothers on the same path.
  • Do you offer any discounts? What is the Family Library Builder Bonus?
    We try to price our books as low as we can without actually losing money. As such, we typically do not offer discounts or sales. We do, however, offer the Family Library Builder Bonus. With the purchase of five or more series you will receive all 12 volumes of the Mother's Learning Library for FREE, as well as five bonus books (Restoring the Art of Storytelling in the Home, Poetry for the Well-Educated Heart, Story Bible, Mara Pratt's American History Stories, and My Reading Record). This bonus applies whether you purchase the books as complete sets, as a subscription, all at once, or over several years. If you purchase 5 or more at one time, we will automatically include the bonus books with your shipments. If you purchase the sets separately, we just ask that you let us know once you've reached five sets, otherwise we may not connect the orders. The bonus is only available on the first 5 series purchased. Qualifying series include: My Book of Delights, Story Hour, Imaginative, Nature, Sunshine, Our Little Cousins Part 1 or Part 2, My Fine Art Story Book, Epic & Legendary Heroes, Freedom, Classic Literature for Young Readers, My America Story Book, Great Lives, World History, My World Story Book, World Freedom, World's Story Part 1 or Part 2, Appreciation, Famous Lives, and the Delphian Course.
  • How much is shipping?
    Shipping is a flat rate of $6.99 per order, with free shipping on orders over $99. Shipping is included in the monthly subscription price.
  • Is there a tracking number for my order?
    You will receive an email from saying "Libraries of Hope has sent you a package" once the order has shipped. This will contain tracking information for USPS.
  • Do these books qualify for reimbursement through online/charter school programs like My Tech High?
    Generally, yes. But we don't know specific requirements for each program, so you will be responsible for looking at your own program's rules. Historically, Stories from the Bible (from the Story Hour series), Old Testament Stories and Stories from the Life of Christ (from the Classic Literature for Young Readers series), and Stories of Hymns and Operas (from the Appreciation series) are not reimbursable. We can usually swap these out for "secular" books on a receipt for you to submit. Just send us an email at or use the Contact Us form below and we can figure something out. Note that we cannot swap out an entire series (the My Book of Delights series has not been allowed by some programs). If you need a receipt with these changes for reimbursement, you can include a note in your order at checkout, or send us an email at
  • How do I return an item I no longer want?
    As all of our books are available to view in their entirety for free online, and thus you should be able to see exactly what you are getting before you order, we currently do not accept returns.
  • I only received part of my order. Where is the rest of it?
    Larger orders (typically more than 15 books) will have to be shipped separately, so you will get multiple boxes. You should get tracking information for each box. But as always, if you're concerned about your order, feel free to contact us using the form below.
  • How do I cancel or change my order?
    You have 24 hours to cancel or change an order. Send us an email at or use the Contact Us form below and we will assist you.
  • How do I decide which books/series to order?
    That's a tough question for us to answer because that's going to be different for every family. But we've tried to offer some guidelines. At the top of every series page, you'll find a brief description as well as general recommended ages for that series. But the best way to decide which books you want is to read a bit from them to see what grabs you! All books are available in their entirety for free online.
  • My book is damaged/I received the wrong book/I am missing a book. Can I get a replacement?
    Occasionally, shipments will arrive with substantial damage (bent/torn covers and pages, upside-down or incorrect print, haphazard cuts, crooked covers, etc.) or with incorrect/missing books. Please send us an email at or use the Contact Us form below with the name on your order, the title of the book you need replaced, and a brief description (pictures are helpful) of the damage received so we can send you a replacement. Replacements must be requested within 60 days of delivery.
  • Is hardbound available?
    Unfortunately, we are not able to print our books hardbound at this time, so all of our printed books are paperback.
  • What are the dimensions of the books?
    Each book has dimensions listed in the description. Note that the series vary in sizes from each other, but all the books in a particular series will be the same size as each other.
  • The quality of my book seems off. Is this normal? What can I do?
    The answer to this one is a bit longer, but bear with me. WEH has never been a business to me. It's a service. I'm not a publisher; I just love to share good books and stories I find in the best way I can. We have no editing team, no proofreaders, no customer support team, no shipping office, no web developer, no app developer. It's just me and my daughter, with the occasional help of a few other family and friends. When I find something I love, I share it. That's the "business plan." The print-on-demand company we are currently using is by far the most cost effective of any of the options out there, and thus the least expensive way to get hard copies of books out to as many people as are interested. But they don't come without their issues. Additionally, we are reprinting books that are over 100 years old and the quality thereof presents unique challenges. We recognize that this can be a big investment of money. We are doing our best to provide the best product to you that we can. But please keep in mind that our primary objective is what's inside the books--the stories. So be aware that for minor flaws (spines being off-center a bit, smudges, wavy pages), we can exchange the items, but there is no guarantee that your replacement book will be perfect. Use the Contact Us form below if you'd like a replacement. As to the content inside, please do your homework! Every book we sell is available to look at for free online, in their entirety. Look at them before you order so you know what you are getting. We don't want you to be surprised or disappointed.
  • Should I order a series as a Complete Series or a Monthly Subscription?
    Again, that depends. Buying a complete series as a bundle is typically the least expensive option (fewer shipments=less expense). But it requires a bigger cost up front as opposed to the monthly subscription option. And some people like receiving packages every's like Christmas! So it just depends on what works for your budget and your family!
  • Do you ship international?
    Unfortunately, we are not able to ship internationally at this time. We hope those of you outside the U.S. will utilize the free digital versions online. We do ship to military APO/FPO addresses.
  • When will my order arrive?
    We use a print-on-demand company, which means they print your order specifically before it's shipped out. This typically takes 7-10 business days, depending on how high the company's demand is at the time. As a result, most shipments arrive within 2-3 weeks of ordering.
  • How do I get a detailed receipt for reimbursement with my school?
    Send us an email at or use the Contact Us form below with the name on your subscription and what you need included in the receipt and we'll generate one for you to submit.
  • How do I cancel my subscription?
    Just send us an email at or use the Contact Us form below and we will take care of it. Or you can cancel it directly in your PayPal account. Go to Settings > Payments > Manage Automatic Payments. Then select the Libraries of Hope subscription and under "Status," click "Cancel."
  • How do I change my subscription order?
    You will need to either email us at or you can use the Contact Us form below. You can change which series you are receiving, or you can add or substract series from your subscription. We are not able to make changes to the date your account is charged or to your payment method. The latter will need to be changed directly in your PayPal account. You can do that by going to Settings > Payments > Manage Automatic Payments. From there, find the Libraries of Hope subscription, and you should be able to edit your payment information there.
  • Can I sign up for more than 10 series?
    Yes. But we will have to make the adjustment for you after you sign up. Sign up for a 10-series subscription, then in the "Series" Selection box, include a note that you'd like to be charged for x-number of series instead (or send us an email at The pricing for more than 10 series is as follows: 11-series: $166/month 12-series: $180/month 13-series: $194/month 14-series: $208/month 15-series: $222/month 16-series: $236/month 17-series: $250/month 18-series: $264/month 19-series: $278/month 20-series: $292/month
  • How do I change my address?
    Send us an email at or use the Contact Us form below. If you just change it in PayPal, that information doesn't always reliably get back to us, so best to contact us directly.
  • Can I pause my subscription?
    Yes. Just send us an email at or use the Contact Us form below, letting us know you need to pause it for a bit. When you're ready to start up again, just reach out to us and we'll reactivate the subscription.
  • When will I receive my shipments each month?
    Your first shipment will arrive typically 2-3 weeks after you sign up. After that, we try to get your books to you by the end of the month prior to the month being shipped. For example, we will put in orders for September books around August 10, in the hopes they will arrive the last week of August.
  • When will payments be charged to my PayPal account?
    The automatic payments are set up to charge each month on the same date that you signed up. For example, if you sign up on August 15th, your payments will come out on the 15th of each month. They will automatically stop after you have made 12 payments.
  • I never received a confirmation email. Did my subscription go through?
    You should have been redirected to a "Thank You" confirmation page after you placed your order. If you saw that, the subscription went through. If you did not, contact us using the form below and we'll see if everything is in order.
  • I just signed up for a subscription. Which books will I get?
    That depends on when you signed up. If I think there's a good possibility you will still get this month's books, I will send you this month's books. If not, I'll wait to send you next month's. That usually means if you sign up in the first week or so, you'll get this month. Anything after that will get next month's. If you would like to request to start in a specific month rather than with the regular rotation, send us an email at or leave a note in the "Series Selection" box when you sign up. ​ You can look at the shipping schedule on the Subscription sign up page to see which items are shipping each month (subject to change). Note that several of the series ship out of order from what they're numbered.
  • How do I know what's included in each available series?
    In the Available Series box, each series is linked to their respective product pages where you will find a series description as well as everything that's included in that series. Additionally, you can look at the shipping schedule (subject to change) for an overview, found on the Subscription page. Also note that the series are arranged from youngest readers to oldest readers, generally. (Sunshine Series will have the broadest range of ages).


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